As far as aging goes, I’d say it did so well, yeah. It’s still as funny and accessible as it’s ever been, and even though the later episodes are in color and jam-packed with wackier lunacy, I’d still argue that the OG Gamera makes for a better episode experience than Gamera Vs. Barugon, in which Gamera pretty much has a glorified cameo.
What the movie lacks in later franchise wackiness, though, the episode makes up for with strong writing that keeps this installment engaging.
For me, the jokes about Kenny flying on the dark side of things? SPECTACULAR. There’s one great comedic part where he’s lying down, and one of his parents is calling for him, and one of the riffers (Servo, I think) says in a demonic voice, “GO AWAY.” And it makes me laugh so damn much.
Everything they do in the episode to make Kenny look like a turncoat who’s conspiring with Gamera against humanity is wonderful.
Really, this episode can skew dark, and that dark humor is head-over-heels hilarious, as it is with the best shorts. To give some example:
Crow as Gamera: “Those kids at school — they tease you, Kenny… because they’ve never tasted Hell. Today, we turn the tables!”
Joel as Kenny: “Gamera demands your instant death.”
Woman to Kenny: “Why are you carrying [stones] around with you, Kenny?”
Joel as Kenny: “To hurt people. Life hurts me, so I hurt back.”
Teacher: “The other students make fun of him. They think he’s strange.”
Crow: “Kids are perceptive that way.”
And also, the singing of that demonic theme from The Omen over a shot of Kenny is [STANDING OVATION]
What also adds to the fun vibes here is Servo’s love for Tibby (as we see in the host segment, which I’ll get to in a bit), which carries over into the theater, and Crow zeroes in on his vulnerability.
Crow: “Or not Tibby?”
Servo: “It’s not- stop it. Shut up!”
[as Kenny runs around looking for Tibby]
Crow: “SQUISH! Oh, Tibby!”
Servo: “That’s not funny! Joel, tell him to stop!”
Joel gets more than a bit cranky here, too, with a penchant for tearing off Crow’s arms in the face of bad puns!
I have to wonder if this was some kind of meta-commentary about how things went in the writing room?
For me, this isn’t the best Gamera episode, but it IS the best Gamera movie, which does something to contribute to the watchability factor in one way. I like the black-and-white cinematography, and it has this feeling of drama and dread that doesn’t come through quite as strongly as it does in the other Gamera movies.
You also have to love this for kickstarting the Sandy Frank era in Season 3.
Servo: “Hey, Sandy Frank. Isn’t that when you drop your hot dog on the beach?”
And it only gets better from there!